Ponni’s Beloved by Sumeetha Manikandan #BookReview

Ponni’s Beloved by Sumeetha Manikandan #BookReview

Ponni’s Beloved is the translation of the classic Tamil historical novel called Ponniyin Selvan written at the beginning of the 20th century by Kalki Krishnamurthy.   The original book has 2400 pages split into five volumes.   The book narrates the story of Arulmozhivarman (later crowned as Rajaraja Chola I), one of the kings of the Chola Dynasty  during the 10th and 11th centuries.  (Source : Wikipedia)

Being a translation,  the plot and story is already good.  But,  let me add full marks to the translation.  A translated book is only interesting if it catches the essence and the mood of the original without sounding like a literal translation.  This one is surely well-translated.  The notes and ready pointers to meanings made it easier for reading the book.  In the e-book,  it was easy to navigate to the meanings and get back to the story.

Before reading this book,  I was not aware of its Tamil origins and had never heard about it.  It reinforces my faith that we should have more translations of regional books.  It is not possible to know all languages but why should we not be able to read good literature.  Follow the hashtag #ReadTranslations for more translated works.

Continue reading

Reality checks    #MondayMusings

Reality checks #MondayMusings

I wiped my work table with a dry cloth to remove the dust accumulated on it.  I gingerly took out the laptop and its accessories from it’s bag and placed it on the table.  It has a month since I worked on this laptop due to my vacation.  With a heavy heart tinged with boredom,  I connected the laptop and started it.

As I sat in front of the laptop and waited for the 1000s of unread emails to load,  I felt even more disillusioned.   I had taken this vacation after two years and the month had just sped by.  I had planned to write everyday,  research a bit of history,  work on some outlines.   But when I reached Kerala,  I realized there was no internet connection where I stayed.  Mobile internet was negligible.  It would connect sometime in the middle of the night and load my messages.  I thought about the endless hours stretching in front of me due to no internet.

The boys had serious withdrawal symptoms.  They were appalled that there was no wi-fi,  but not able to connect on the dongle was the last straw.  Everything happens for a reason,  I thought.  I hoped the boys,  and I,  get over the no internet phase.

I put my blog posts on the backburner and plunged into the lazy joys of the vacation.  With nothing hanging over my head and no deadlines to meet, it was a breeze.  Soon,  I was too much involved in the day to day living.   The cousin’s house we were parked in had about 20 people across all age groups between 82 and 7.   No internet meant, the kids got along with each other and played.

But,  they did spend a lot of time speaking to their friends on their mobiles and I wished,  if only the network was also limited.

I can promise you I did not learn anything new,  or did anything significant.  I just lived.

And now I wish,  I can turn time backwards and relive the holidays again.

The e-mails are still loading and I start filtering to read only the relevant emails as I get back to work mode.

When was the last time you went on a really long holiday?